Monday, April 22, 2013

More/Fitness Magazine Women's Half-Marathon

Huh, well apparently I took a little break from blogging! It was totally unintentional; I kept thinking about writing a post, but it just didn't happen. Oops!

I want to start by saying that my heart goes out to all the runners, families, and friends who were affected by the Boston Marathon bombings. The running community is so amazing, one that I feel truly blessed to be a part of, and to have it attacked felt very personal, even though I don't know anyone in real life who was in Boston that day. The response has truly been heartwarming and has made me love runners that much more. I also think law-enforcement deserves a tremendous amount of gratitude for putting their own lives on the line to catch these guys!

On a much brighter note, I ran my 5th half-marathon last weekend, the More/Fitness Women's Half-marathon in Central Park. This was my first women's only race and it was pretty inspirational to see women of all ages, shapes and sizes running and/or walking this race.


The weather was absolutely spectacular, just cool enough and the sun was shining brightly. I was so, so calm on the way to this race for some reason. I stayed at a hotel about a mile from the race start, and made my way down 5th Avenue on Sunday morning; I love walking around midtown early on weekends cause it is so much more pleasant before all the crowds arrive!



I knew this race was going to be challenging, what with all the hills, but I still had a secret goal of breaking 2:20. So far my fastest race had been just under 2:25 but I felt as though I had worked harder this training cycle, incorporating hills, some speed, and doing my long runs faster than I have in the past. 

I'll admit they really weren't kidding when they warned us about the hills, but I managed to push through them and cherish the downhill portions of the race! Looking back at my splits I managed to keep a fairly steady pace throughout the race. There were times I felt I was trudging through mud and was pleasantly surprised when I looked at my watch and found I was moving a lot faster than I thought. The last few miles were pretty rough, but I knew that I was still on track for a PR so I just kept pushing. I was beyong thrilled when I crossed the finish line and knew I had made it under 2:20 - my official time is 2:18:44!


I really loved everything about this race. Of course, the fact that it was in NYC has something to do with that ;) But I found it really well-organized, the crowd support was great, and just the atmosphere in general made it an amazing experience. I would definitely do this race again :)


Has anyone else had an awesome race lately? Or one coming up?

Monday, March 25, 2013

Sleep

I love to sleep.  Anyone who knows me knows that this is what they should expect if they dare wake me up.

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But things have been busy lately and as we all know, sleep is one of the first things to go! I was soooo exhausted last week and I just could not shake it. I felt like I could fall asleep at any minute, anywhere.  Seriously, I was afraid my boss would catch me like this.

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Needless to say, my workouts for the week were less than stellar. I still managed to get my 5 miles in on Monday, but I only got through 1 mile on Wednesday before giving up and just walking.  And I didn't even try to do my long run this weekend.

I have noticed that weeks like this seem to happen once during every training cycle. Part of it is being physically exhausted, but I also know part of it is mental. I let my "bad" week shake my confidence and that contributed to my skipping my long run.  On the other hand, I knew my body and brain both needed a break! I've had some good double-digit runs in the last month and I still have 2 more on the schedule before my next half-marathon so I'm not too concerned.

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I had an extremely lazy weekend, taking naps each day and going to bed ridicously early, so I'm hoping that I've caught up on whatever sleep I needed!

Do you have days (or weeks) where you just can't shake that exhausted feeling?
Do you find you have an off week in every training cycle too?

P.S. Searching for pictures of sleeping cats is not a bad way to start your Monday ;)

Tuesday, March 12, 2013

How Do They Do It?!

Hey guys! How've you been?

Things have been pretty hectic in my world! As you guys know, I'm working on a novel and I've started a writing class to help guide me along. I know it's not necessary to take a class, but to be honest I need the deadlines to keep me going! The class is definitely time-consuming but I am having a blast :) Unfortunately it means blogging here has fallen off my radar somewhat, but I will be starting a writing blog to document that process so I hope you guys will check it out once I get it going!

In other news, I got a second tattoo a few weeks ago :) I got my first one when I was 18 and I swore I would never EVER do it again because it hurts!! But then I fell in love with this design and just could not get it out of my head, so I finally went ahead and got it done. Surprisingly this one barely hurt at all and my friend and the tattoo artist both did a great job of distracting me while I was getting it done. I am soooo happy to have it after a year of thinking about, and every time I look down at my wrist I smile :)


I've had a few "How do they do it" moments in the last week.

My first is how do you guys stay on top of your blogging?! I know a lot of you have full-time jobs, families to take care, and of course spend a lot of time working out and training for various events, yet you still post on a regular basis! I also have to admit that I've been going through a "I have no idea what to blog about" phase. I feel as though you've all heard my half-marathon training ramblings and that's all that's going on with me on the workout front lately!

I also had to get up at 4:45 to fit my workout in on Friday and you guys, it was brutal!!! Again, I know some of you do this every single day and I'm in awe of you. I was a mess the rest of the day and could barely focus at work.  I guess it's something you get used to if you have to but I sure am grateful I have time to exercise after work rather than trying to fit it in in the morning!

Do you have any tattoos?
How do fit blogging into your schedule?
How do you feel about early morning workouts?

Wednesday, February 27, 2013

I Suck at Stretching

Confession - I hardly ever stretch after a workout.

My main excuse is that I HATE being in sweaty clothes. I don't mind sweat one bit while I'm actually working out, but as soon as I'm done I cannot get out of those clothes fast enough! So, by the time I've changed, I usually don't want to be bothered with stretching. Oh, and did I mention my cat just loves to "help" on the rare occasion that I do attempt it? And by help, I mean licking my hair and walking all over me :P

However, my legs have been killing me lately! I've been pushing a little harder, incorporating hills and speed work into my training plan, and it is definitely taking a toll on my body. I actually found myself craving yoga the other day.


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I bought Jillian Michael's Yoga Meltdown a while ago, but I've only done it once or twice. I pretty much love all of Jillian's workouts and if anyone can make yoga bearable it's her! I think this dvd is a good one for people like me who aren't at all interested in the more zen-like types of yoga. Oh, and I'm super excited that I'm going to see Jillian when she comes to Ottawa in May :)

I'm also hoping that incorporating more stretching into my routine will help get rid of the plantar faciitis I've been dealing with lately.

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I tried the rolling a cold Coke can (or in my case, a Dr. Pepper can) under my foot yesterday and I think it might work cause my foot wasn't nearly as sore as it has been this morning! I hardly ever drink this stuff but I found a can in the back of my fridge and I'll be putting it to good use from now on ;)

What are your favorite yoga dvds?
Any tips for getting rid of plantar faciitis?

P.S. I've had to add word verification to the comments cause I've been getting way too much spam. Sorry!